With the palatable shock of what is being touted as the deadliest attack in France since the 1961 Algerian War still reverberating around the world, international TV stations are running the story on every channel. Experts are covering every angle and theory behind the gunning down of 10 journalists, including the paper editor as well as two police at the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, The French satirical newspaper.
The paper will still go to print next week Wednesday with a print run of one million copies, as opposed to its usual 60,000 a week and will be half of its usual 16-page length.
Columnist Patrick Pelloux said the decision to continue to publish will show “stupidity will not win”. He also told AFP news agency “It’s very hard. We are all suffering, with grief and fear, but we will do it anyway because stupidity will not win,”
Magazine editor Stephane Charbonnier, who died in the attack, had been living under police protection for a number of years and had received many death threats in the past.
Although the motive for Wednesday’s massacre is not yet clear, the weekly publication has often danced with controversy in the past, due to its irreverent take on the news and current affairs.
It is a well-known fact that the pen is mightier than the sword. Comments and tweets on social media, many featuring the hashtag #JesuisCharlie which roughly translates as “I am Charlie”, run the gamut from murder is not the solution for something that displeases or upsets you through to it being a provoked attack, which all makes for interesting reading and understanding on different sides of the fence.
My question stands – What if I took offence at every feminist or blonde joke that came my way? Would I be behind bars by now? Each and every human being is entitled to their opinion, and the opportunity to speak it, hence my blog, and the responses I get on here are all uncensored and open. Negative or positive you cannot affect people’s opinions, and those looking to silence the freedom of speech will undoubtedly meet extreme resistance.
I cannot help but wonder, in the same breath, what next? When or what will the next incident be? Who will it target? Until then, I will just keep writing and airing my right to speak my mind. Je Suis Charlie.
Sources: Wikipedia, BBC News, Alex Green Cartoons and Google.